Get your Daily Encouragement with the Jesus Minute
“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than, for your whole body to be thrown into the cursed fiery garbage pit. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into the cursed fiery, garbage pit.
It was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:27-32) In the same way that an angry heart is murdering someone, so lusting after someone in your heart is adultery.
Divorce was allowed by Moses in the Law as an accommodation to the failure of a marriage. The reasons were as loose as they are today—even for being obnoxious! The religious of the day were basically concerned about doing their paperwork and then they could move ahead with divorce.
Jesus is teaching 4 things here: Lust in your heart for another is committing adultery. According to Jesus, if you have ever lusted after another, then you are an adulterer. Note that this has nothing to do with a physical or emotional affair. This is a matter of the heart! We tend to draw the line as good Pharisaical believers at “having sex” with another. But Jesus erases all lines and calls the lust in your heart adultery. So, are you an adulterer?
I don’t know of anyone with a pulse who isn’t an adulterer! Your marriage is a serious commitment and therefore divorce is a serious offense. God hates divorce. He hates it, because it brings destruction and distortion to the individuals and to His image of one flesh.
There is literally no way out of being convicted of this sin. Jesus is setting it all up. God requires perfection. Plan A says that you must be perfect. But since no one is able to rise to this perfection, you must move toward the perfection of Jesus, the Messiah. That’s Plan B!
So Jesus starts by calling you a murderer and now an adulterer. I mean to tell you, there’s no way out, EXCEPT through Jesus. You are guilty at the core of your being—your heart—and only Jesus can get you out of this planet alive!